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The 5 Best Substitutes for Oil in Pancakes & Waffles

Breakfast is probably the most important meal of the day.

Whether you’re rushing to class or work, it’s easy to grab a granola bar, but who has time to cook? Luckily, breakfast can just as easily be eaten on the go if it doesn’t take much time.

Pancakes and waffles are classics for breakfast, but they require oil to guarantee perfect texture.

This fact leaves those who can’t digest or don’t like the taste of the oil looking for alternative ways to enjoy breakfast without extra calories.

Fortunately for people with this problem, many possible substitutes allow you to have your waffles and eat them too.

In this article, we will discuss five possible substitutes for oil in pancakes that can help you enjoy your breakfast, even if you have dietary restrictions.

Why Use Oil in Baking Pancakes and Waffles?

why use oil in baking pancakes and waffles

One of the most important ingredients in baking pancakes and waffles is oil.

Oil not only keeps these pancake types soft, moist, and fresh longer, but it also gives the baked good more flavor.

Oil has several functions when added to a batter or dough for baking pancakes.

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When used as an ingredient of a batter, oil prevents water from evaporating from the pancake as it bakes.

Additionally, the oil adds richness to the baked good and helps retain softness and moisture by preventing ingredients from absorbing into each other.

In the case of waffles, oil also provides a delicious light taste that enhances flavor without overpowering it.

In addition, using oil instead of butter in baking pancakes and waffles also reduces the likelihood of over-browning and burning them.

Butter contains more water than oil and evaporates at a higher temperature, making it more likely to burn.

The 5 Best Substitutes for Oil in Pancakes

That being said, several different oil substitutes can be used when baking pancakes and waffles.

1 – Applesauce


Apple sauce is a great substitute for traditional oil in baked goods like pancakes and waffles because it gives them the same texture as if they were made with oil.

Additionally, applesauce also helps give these pancake types moisture and sweetness.

It also enhances the texture of baked goods by adding chewiness and fluffiness.

When using applesauce as an oil substitute, it is crucial to ensure that the applesauce is unsweetened.

Preferably, you should also buy organic or local varieties because they use fewer additives.

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You could also make your applesauce by cooking it yourself.

For example, heat some apple cider and then cool it down before eating.

2 – Low-fat Yogurt

lowfat yogurt

If you’re looking for a dairy substitute, low-fat yogurt is a great option.

Some recipes call for this as an ingredient.

To use yogurt as an oil substitute in baked goods like pancakes and waffles, you should first ensure that the product is fat-free or low-fat.

If it’s not, you should at least buy organic yogurt because it contains fewer additives.

Of course, you could also make your own if the recipe calls for plain yogurt.

In addition to pancakes and waffles, yogurt can be used in cakes and muffins as an oil substitute.

Some recipes call only for yogurt instead of using oil or butter.

3 – Ghee


Ghee is a type of clarified butter that originated in India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh.

It has been used for at least 2,000 years and has long been considered one of the most prized cooking fats across South Asia.

Ghee’s benefits include its rich taste and high smoke point (375 degrees Celsius).

This makes it perfect for use in baking and frying.

In addition, it is typically 100% pure and has no chemicals or additives like other butter substitutes such as margarine.

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To substitute ghee for oil in baked goods like pancakes and waffles, use 1:1 measurements.

This means that if the recipe calls for one tablespoon of butter, you should use one tablespoon of ghee instead.

4 – Melted Butter

melted butter

The next substitute for oil in baked goods like pancakes and waffles is melted butter.

When baking with melted butter, it’s important to let the butter cool down before adding it to your pancake batter or dough.

If you add hot or warm melted butter to your batter, then the temperature difference will change the chemical makeup of the ingredients, which can burn or leave your cooking suffering from an unpleasant taste.

In addition, when baking with melted butter, you should also remember to reduce the amount of water in your recipe by 1/4 cup for every one cup of butter that is replaced with a solid to maintain a thicker consistency.

5 – Applesauce and Mashed Banana

applesauce and mashed banana

While this baking substitute is not exactly an oil, we thought it was worth mentioning.

This combination provides the same texture and taste as using oil in your pancake or waffle mix.

And since apples and bananas are both naturally sweet, these substitutes give your pancakes a nice light taste without overpowering them.

The best part about using these fruits is that the recipe will stay fresh for longer, making it possible to enjoy your pancakes over several days rather than having to eat all of them in one sitting.

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However, if you’re looking to reduce the total amount of calories you take in, then this substitute may not be the way to go.

This is because applesauce and mashed bananas both contain sugar.


When making pancakes or waffles, it’s important to avoid oil because they can fill you up too quickly.

Instead, you should use one of the substitutes mentioned above so that your breakfast is healthier and more delicious.

More importantly, these substitutes are easy for anyone to make at home, so there’s no need to spend extra money on a product you can easily make.

This also means you have much more control over the ingredients and amount of oil, fat, or butter in your recipe.

For even better pancakes, consider using ghee as your substitute for oil – it may even become a new favorite ingredient.

Yield: 4 Servings

The 5 Best Substitutes for Oil in Pancakes & Waffles

The 5 Best Substitutes for Oil in Pancakes & Waffles
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes


  • Applesauce
  • Low-fat Yogurt
  • Ghee
  • Melted Butter
  • Applesauce and Mashed Banana


  1. Pick your favorite substitute from the list above.
  2. Follow cooking directions for your selected substitute with the proper ratio of ingredients.
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